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One-legged man fell to his death from Tamar Bridge hours before court appearance

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: April 16, 2014

A one-legged man who died after falling from the Tamar Bridge earlier this week had been due to face trial for rape just hours later.

Anthony Collins, from St Dominic near Saltash, was also facing drug charges when he fell to his death shortly before 6am on Monday.

Police were called to the bridge after reports of a man standing on the wrong side of the railings, and tried to talk him down.

The incident has now been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

It has since emerged that Collins, of Baber Court, was due to stand trial at Truro Crown Court on Monday for two counts of raping a woman.

The 27-year-old, who had lost a leg in a previous accident, failed to show up at court, and on Tuesday the prosecution service told court of his death.

Prosecutor Rose Burns outlined to the court the facts of the case and asked it to be closed.

The court heard that on the night of Boxing Day, 2012, Collins met the alleged victim in a pub, and agreed to go back to his house, stopping at a cash machine on the way so she could buy cocaine from him.

She said: “Unfortunately, his mood appeared to change, according to her account, and he had sexual intercourse with her.”

The court was also told that Collins faced two charges of being in possession of the

cocaine with intent to supply it, and of supplying it to the woman that night. The court heard that the woman had told police Collins had supplied her with lines of cocaine but it was unclear whether the drug had been consumed.

She said: “He wanted more than just cash and that is the way it was said to have happened.”

Ms Burns said the woman texted a friend saying “Help me” before managing to leave the property.

The police were called when she got home and told her friend.

The court heard that, in an interview, Collins gave a prepared statement denying that the sexual intercourse was anything other than consensual.

He had also denied the drugs charges.

When police arrived at the Tamar Bridge on Monday morning they found Collins on the wrong side of the railings.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “The man then jumped from the bridge as officers were speaking to him.

“The man was seen swimming in the water and a boat was deployed.

“The casualty was recovered from the water and CPR was carried out at the scene.

“He was pronounced dead a short time later.”

Truro Crown Court heard that Collins had not left a note but had sent texts to family and friends from the bridge.

Judge John Neligan closed the case against Collins and ordered that £400 in cash was seized from his home under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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